Monday, October 22, 2018

#Moxtober 22: Expensive

During the month of October is #Inktober! Each day has a single-word prompt, but instead of inking something, I design a Magic: The Gathering mechanic to fit the word. This is called #Moxtober.

(#Moxtober was previously named #Meltober, named after "Mel", the more mechanically-inclined counterpart to "Vorthos" of the aesthetic profile spectrum.)

Day 01: "poisonous"
Day 02: "tranquil"
Day 03: "roasted"
Day 04: "spell"
Day 05: "chicken"
Day 06: "drooling"
Day 07: "exhausted"
Day 08: "star"

Day 09: "precious"
Day 10: "flowing"
Day 11: "cruel"
Day 12: "whale"
Day 13: "guarded"
Day 14: "clock"
Day 15: "weak"
Day 16: "angular"
Day 17: "swollen"
Day 18: "bottle"
Day 19: "scorched"
Day 20: "breakable"
Day 21: "drain"

Today's prompt is: "expensive"

When I saw "expensive", I thought of expensive mana costs. So, I wanted to tie a mechanic to paying expensive costs. But what was expensive? Well, since Limited is the most restrictive format in this regard to design for, and assuming this mechanic would be for a standard-legal set, I wanted to make sure to care about what would be "expensive" for Limited. But what is that number? To determine this, I took to polling Twitter:

I only let the poll go for four hours before making a decision, as I needed to write the post you're reading now at the time I'm writing it. But it seems clear 7 is when spells are "expensive" in Limited. From seven, I thought of "lucky number seven." So, I chose to just focus on the number seven and not just "seven or more."

The mechanic ensures you have luck counters placed on permanents, of which many different applications of said luck counters can be applied. In today's card, I chose to design the potential penultimate card, make it a little easy to get rid of, but also make it a legendary creature to be used as a commander, in the colors of which previous cards using luck counters can be included in the deck of. Both Chance Encounter and As Luck Would Have It are alt-win condition cards that use luck counters. And Gemstone Caverns also uses a luck counter.

(I'm always on the lookout for potential "Commander design space" whenever opportunity arises, even in these theoretical situations, to train myself to not miss that chance, or else you get a situation where you miss a legendary werewolf for original Innistrad block.

Keep in mind that Scourge was a set that cared about converted mana cost six or more, and it was in a block that had cycling - so the potential Limited environment would probably also have ways to include seven-cost cards in addition to your cheaper cards with seven-costed abilities.

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